Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Samantha LaRose '18
Ed Henry ’95, chief correspondent for Fox News, visited his alma mater on Saturday, April 1, to promote his new book, 42 Faith: The Rest of The Jackie Robinson Story. The book reveals the untold story of how faith played a central role in Robinson becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Through interviews with Robinson’s family, friends, and teammates Henry uncovers a truth about the baseball legend that few know.
Henry was inspired to write the book after attending a dinner party in 2007. Before excusing himself from the gathering, Henry told the woman seated next to him that he was leaving to watch a baseball game. The woman, noting that Henry was a fan of baseball, explained that her late father-in-law played a major role in baseball history. Her father-in-law was a minister in Brooklyn who, in 1945, received a visit from former Brooklyn Dodgers manager, Branch Rickey. Rickey was questioning whether or not to sign Jackie Robinson into his first contract with the team because of his race and looked to his religion for guidance. The story of this interaction remained a secret until shortly before the minister’s death when he informed his wife of the encounter. Henry was immediately intrigued by this story and questioned why Rickey visited the minister, what the minister told him, and whether Jackie Robinson was aware of Rickey looking to a higher power before signing him. Determined to find answers to these questions, Henry set out on a journey that began at an IHOP in Indiana with Robinson’s former teammate, Carl Erskine, and ended with a conversation with his widow, Rachel Robinson, in New York.
“The book is basically about, that you have this white general manager from Ohio and black kid from Pasadena, California. Different generations, different parts of the country, different races. They had two things in common: they were bound together by baseball and a very strong faith in God that was instilled in both of them early and sustained both of them throughout their entire lives,” Henry told a crowd of over 100 students at the Sarazen Student Union.
He explained that he hopes the book sends the message of the importance of a reliance on faith.
Reflecting on his time at Siena, Henry shared with the crowd, “You learn so much here on this wonderful campus. It’s a campus that taught me a lot and I hope that you have as many blessings as I’ve had since I left here.” He gave away 42 copies of his book to the first students in attendance and followed up the talk with a Q&A and book signing with all those in attendance.
42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story was released on Tuesday, April 4, just in time for the start of the 2017 baseball season and the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game on April 15.